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Re: Depression and Work

Posted by Racer on August 22, 1999, at 20:29:23

In reply to Depression and Work, posted by yardena on August 22, 1999, at 20:02:38

Not me. Most of my life, depression has made it difficult for me to handle a job for any length of time. Mostly it's because of an inability to get along with other people, which is often a problem for me anyway. Not that I'm hostile, or anything like that, but I'm so insecure that I don't speak up for myself well, and when I do, I don't do it well.

Right now, I'm in a situation that feels good, and my depression is known to the one other person who 'needs' to know, my collegue/semi-boss. While my depression still effects my work, both in having a hard time getting there in the morning, and having difficulties in concentrating and in dealing with people, for the most part I'm doing well enough to get by. Now my situation is also different from what it's ever been before, because I'm the only person doing what I do, and the only person who really understands what I do. In other situations, I've had to try to bend to someone else's will, which made the depression worse. This time, I'm the one holding the whip over myself, mostly, and I'd be next to impossible to replace. And, amazingly, when I say something, everyone else says, "Yeah! OK, that's what we'll do!" In other words, I get respect and support in this job. Not nearly enough money to live on, but respect and support.

I've never disclosed depression to an employer, and would hesitate to do so for a number of reasons. I don't know what the answer is, because I really do believe that mood disorders, if they do in fact stem from brain chemistry imbalances, are a true analogy to any other chemical imbalance, diabetes for example. In that case, they should not have any more shame attached to them. The reality, though, is that they still do have shame attached. Maybe it's time for us to come out of the closet. Until then, though, I'm no martyr, so I'll have to follow on this issue. There's shame in that, too, but no one would know except myself.

Great subject for discussion, though. And good for you for your bravery.




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